This church represents the type of church that we see throughout our communities, evangelical, prosperous, touting the Bible as the Word of God, but not quite right. There is something amiss within its four walls, if we could just put our finger on it. God’s Word gives the reason for our misgivings in Revelation chapter three.
And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith He that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. (2) Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. (3) Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. (4) Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white: for they are worthy. (5) He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before His angels. (6) He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Revelation 3:1-6
Jesus Christ’s judgement of this church begins and ends with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is referred to as the seven Spirits of God in the Book of Revelation. The Holy Spirit is the all-powerful witness to the truth of God and the Discerner of the thoughts of men when they are confronted with the truth of the Word of God. Jesus Christ sees through the Holy Spirit that this church is dead, despite its stellar reputation. Many are impressed with the church at Sardis, but its works are faulty because they are incomplete before God, so instead of being the living temple of God, these church attenders are merely going through the motions of their false religious dogmatism. They have replaced the truth of the gospel with a man-made derivative that has no power to heal, save or resurrect the lost and dying soul. They have lost that which was given out at the beginning and therefore are liable to experience the judgement of Christ within their midst. His coming to them is not a good thing, and they will not be ready for His judgement.
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (2) (For the Life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) (3) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. (4) And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. 1 John 1:1-4
How many evangelical churches focus on programs, activities, retreats, concerts, conferences, etc. without realizing their need is to focus on Jesus. The truth about Jesus Christ is what has been handed down from the beginning that we may know Him and have fellowship with Him and with the Father. Without this fellowship there is no life. Without the life of Jesus Christ residing in the soul, the sinner is dead in trespasses and sins, bound for eternal judgement in hell. Coming together is not about our fellowship, but about the fellowship that we experience with God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. The church at Sardis had substituted man-made rituals, devices and works for saving faith in Jesus Christ and fellowship with our Savior.
Within the evangelical church today are raging many different distractions and contentions, but the one thing that is necessary isn’t being pursued. That one thing is fellowship with our Savior Jesus Christ by sitting at His feet through prayer, fellowship with the Holy Spirit, and delving into the riches of His glorious Word. The need of the hour is repentance from these dead works that have nothing to do with our Savior and His glorious gospel. The need of the day is to turn from the words of man and dig deep into the glorious Word of the Living God. The need of the evangelical church is to turn away from all that is false and defiling and cling anew to the true living doctrine that saves sinners’ souls by sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening to His Word the Bible.
Now it came to pass, as they went, that He entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received Him into her house. (39) And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard His word. (40) But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to Him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. (41) And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: (42) But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. Luke 10:38-42
Praise God He calls His own out from the midst of this corruption into the purity of faith in His Son, trust in His Word and reliance upon His Holy Spirit. These are the ones who will walk with Jesus in white because they are worthy. They love Jesus Christ more than the praises of men and are not afraid to be seen as strict and demanding in their walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. Beloved many are just not willing to walk the narrow way because it is difficult and because there are few who are on it. May we be those who love Jesus Christ with an unfeigned love and are content to follow Him all the way to heaven. Amen!
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in there at: (14) Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it. Matthew 7:13-14
Lord Jesus Christ may we as Your called out ones rely upon You and trust in Your truth, the Holy Word of God. May we walk by the Holy Spirit and so do those works that are pleasing to You. Amen!